Robina gushes over BPI-Robinsons Bank merger: Combination of size, innovation in Ayala-Gokongwei’s ecosystem

Ultra bilyonaryo Robina Gokongwei-Pe is optimistic about the market synergy to be created from the merger between her family’s Robinsons Bank and the Ayalas’ Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).

“We believe this merger between BPI and Robinsons Bank will bring — the coming together of the innovativeness of Robinsons Bank, the scale and breadth of BPI, and the retail and commercial eco-system of both the Gokongwei group and the Ayala group,” said the president and CEO of Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc.

“Retailing has always had a close relationship with banking in many markets around the world, and especially here in the Philippines. This is because of the breadth of services it offers to its customers, coupled with its broad and rich eco-system of suppliers and business partners, that need banking services to grow and thrive,” Gokongwei-Pe said.

RRHI owns 40 percent of RBank with the remaining 60 percent owned by its parent, JG Summit. The two will hold six percent of BPI after the merger.

Her brother, JG Summit president Lance Gokongwei, concurred that the marriage of the two banks would “leverage on the ecosystems of both the Gokongwei and Ayala groups.”

In its disclosure, BPI shared Gokongwei-Pe’s enthusiasm on the mutual benefits from the two families’ alliance.

“BPI will be able to unlock various synergies across several products and service platforms, expand the customer and deposit base of both banks through the merged entity,” said BPI.

“By capitalizing on BPI’s expertise and network, enhance the overall banking experience of RBC customers. BPI will be able to expand its client base, accelerate growth, and ultimately increase shareholder value through partnerships with the Gokongwei group,” it added.

The merger will give BPI access to digital bank GoTyme (in which RBank has a 20 percent stake) led by Singapore-based digital banking group Tyme as the Ayala-led bank boosts its digital banking presence.

RBank has 190 branches/branch-lite units, 393 ATMs, and online and mobile banking channels. BPI has 1,181 branches and 2,398 ATMs/CAMs.

With the merger, BPI will leapfrog Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. of the Ty family as the country’s second largest lender.